The Case for Retroactive Author Name Changes

Amy Lazet, Brian Watson

Abstract

A name is a reflection of the individual, yet for authors who no longer identify with their birth name or whose name has changed, continuing to see their previous name on publications can be painful, annoying, or even potentially dangerous. While this applies to many authors (as will be discussed below) trans and gender-diverse authors are particularly faced with an untenable choice: disassociate themselves from their previous writings (thereby losing their scholarly record), or out themselves as trans by claiming previous publications under their new name. Neither choice is viable, and in response, there is a growing movement to correct the published record to reflect these authors’ true names.

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